BreakingKZRG NewsLatest NewsLocal InterestsNews Joplin MONewstalk KZRGTrending

LEAD Agency receives $5,000 Oklahoma Humanities grant for oral history project

MIAMI, Okla. — Local Environmental Action Demanded (LEAD) Agency was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from Oklahoma Humanities to launch an oral history project to document people’s memories of water throughout Ottawa County.

Oklahoma Humanities is an independent nonprofit that offers programs, grants, scholarships and partnerships to promote critical thinking and community building. It funds projects with themes centered around history, art, literature and ethics and focuses on three program categories: Public Programs, Preservation and Access Projects, and Education Projects.

LEAD Agency’s oral history project, called “Remembering Water with Ottawa County Residents,” will help document interviews of Northeast Oklahoma residents as they tell their experiences with water, water pollution, and flooding before and during processes of industrial pollution and environmental remediation.

The county is home to the Tar Creek Superfund Site, one of the oldest and most complex Superfund Sites in the nation. The superfund site is a former lead and zinc mining area that was part of the Tri-State Mining District, which included Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas.

M. Bailey Stephenson, the primary humanities scholar for the project, will conduct a majority of the initial oral history interviews and also train and support LEAD staff with the interviewing process.

Laurel Smith, University of Oklahoma Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, is also collaborating by curating a website with LEAD that will showcase the residents’ stories of air, water and work in Ottawa County.

The website will include audio, visuals, art, storytelling and oral history interviews. It will house the digital archives that will be publicly accessible and can be used as a resource for the community, researchers, scholars, students and future generations.

The oral history collection will also be stored at a physical archive that has yet to be determined. Stephenson will work closely with Smith to ensure the oral history collection is made publicly accessible.

The project will begin on June 2.

Show More
Back to top button